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Vaccine alliance hopes to boost access

Updated: 2013-11-11 19:25
By Shan Juan ()

Eleven civic societies, including the China Medical Association, the China Medical Doctor Association, and the China Medical Women's Association, launched the China Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization on Friday to enhance Chinese and foreign children's access to vaccinations.

Despite tremendous progress in immunizing children worldwide, more than 20 million children do not receive essential vaccines globally, according to the World Health Organization.

China has a unique role to play in supporting global immunization efforts, said Lei Zhenglong, deputy director of the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control at National Health and Family Planning Commission.

“Immunization requires continuous commitment and there are still challenges that we need to address for China’s immunization program”, he said, adding that immunization needs a joint effort beyond just government.

“Civic societies can leverage their diversity and flexibility to play a bigger role in the future,” he noted.

The alliance includes community organizations, professional associations, academic institutions and organizations representing affected population groups and will work to cultivate greater partnership in China and other countries, said Cheng Feng, vice-president of the Global Health Strategies initiative.

“The global community has a responsibility to reach all children, everywhere, with the vaccines they need, and China is an important part of such efforts,” he said.

Given its experience and expertise in immunization, China has an opportunity to draw from its success and help the world achieve goals for universal access to immunization, he added.

The alliance will also explore opportunities to promote the adoption of quality and affordable vaccines made in China, he said.

Last month, the first Chinese-made vaccine achieved WHO pre-qualification and met international standards for quality, safety and efficacy.

That status allows the Chinese manufacturer to sell its vaccine against Japanese encephalitis to international agencies to be used in low-income countries.

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